Glenn Greenwald explains the parallels between the war on terror and the war on drugs:
The War on Drugs is a mirror image of the War on Terror: sustained with the same deceitful propaganda, driven by many of the same motives, prosecuted with similar templates, and destructive in many of the same ways.
The similarities are obvious. Both wars rely upon cartoon depictions of Scary Villains (The Drug Kingpin, Mexican Cartels, the Terrorist Mastermind) to keep the population in a state of heightened fear and thus blind them to rational discourse. But both wars are not only complete failures in eradicating those villains, but they both do more to empower those very villains than any other single cause -- the War on Drugs by ensuring that cartels’ profits from the illegal drug trade remain sky-high, and the War on Terror by ensuring more and more support and recruits for anti-American extremists. And both, separately and together, endlessly erode basic American liberties by convincing a frightened public that they can Stay Safe only if they cede more and more power to the state. Many of the civil liberties erosions from the War on Terror have their genesis in the War on Drugs.